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Phala Phala Sisulu did not vote on report because she was outside reading a text message

  • Lindiwe Sisulu did not vote for the adoption of the Section 89 report.
  • Sisulu said she was locked outside the chambers of the Cape Town City Hall because she was outside to read a text message.
  • Sisulu said President Cyril Ramaphosa should have resigned.

ANC MP Lindiwe Sisulu said a text message prevented her from voting in support of the adoption of the Section 89 report in Parliament on Tuesday.

Sisulu had been vocal about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s possible culpability in the Phala Phala matter, but was not present when MPs voted on whether to adopt the report.

Sisulu and former health minister Zweli Mkhize were absent from the chambers at Cape Town City Hall on Tuesday.

ANC MPs overwhelmingly voted against adopting the Section 89 report, with only five caucus members supporting its adoption.

Sisulu, in an interview on Wednesday with the South African Press Club, said she had received a text message, which said she and Mkhize had been targeted, and she decided to walk out and read it.

She claimed that, when she came back and tried to return to the chambers, the doors were closed.

“After being hounded in caucus, I went to the chamber and sat down. Then I get a message, which said, ‘you and Zweli are being targeted, we suggest you do not vote’. So, I go out to check what this message is about. By the time I come back, the doors had been closed,” Sisulu said.

She claimed ANC MPs were dictated to by ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe to vote against adopting the report.

She said the outcome of Tuesday’s vote was the result of threats imposed on ANC members.

“Parliament was held by the scruff of the neck to vote the way that it voted. And it is wrong, that is dictatorship of the worst kind… even If I did not vote, I do not regret it,” Sisulu said.

Sisulu described the Phala Phala matter as the worst scandal to affect the country.

She claimed the country was being held to ransom by people who looked to protect their access to Ramaphosa’s “patronage”.

I must say this about Comrade Cyril, his first instinct was to run away, but it is the people around him who are dependent on his patronage that said, ‘Mr President what about us?’

 

“We are sitting in a situation, where a group of people is holding the country to ransom. We should have allowed Comrade Cyril to resign, and we should have investigated the matter to ensure it does not happen again. Instead, we have gone on and covered up and created an untenable situation,” Sisulu said.

ANC MPs, who voted in support of adopting the Section 89 report, were Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Tandi Mahambehlala, Mosebenzi Zwane, Supra Mahumapelo and Mervyn Dirks.

Mahambehlala voted yes but after the voting was completed, she indicated that she meant to say “no”.

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